by Ted Feit
A faceoff in hockey occurs when two opposing players face each other in a circle or at center ice and attempt to direct the puck to a teammate when the ref tosses it between them. In other circumstances, a faceoff implies one or more forces facing each other, usually in opposition. So at the very least this, the third book to be published
on behalf of the International Thrillers Writers, comprising some of the best-known authors of the thriller-mystery genre, whose proceeds fund the organization, is a misnomer.
It is edited by David Baldacci, who wrote an introduction to each of the 11 short stories included in the volume. The idea was to pair each author’s iconic protagonist with that of another, cooperating in the plot to solve a crime or mystery. It would not be fair to mention some of the authors and not others, since they are of equal stature. Some of the stories are interesting, others less so.
In facing off, neither the authors nor the protagonist do. They work together, sometimes even beyond the law or ethics. Among the many problems developing stories under the concept includes working out where the two lead characters will operate, since most were domiciled in separate locations, sometimes on opposite sides of the country. Needless to say, the writing and creativity are the result of the top writers in the field. It’s just too bad their hands were tied behind their backs by the premise. One would think with the best minds in the business, a better idea could have been developed.
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